The Fight to Be Right: When to Give In

Fight to Be Right

The Fight to Be Right is a No-Win Situation

If you sometimes find yourself in a fight to be right, you may be what some would call a “right-fighter.” So what exactly is a right-fighter? Basically, the term is used to describe someone who will argue a point to the bitter end, even when they’re not sure that their argument is completely valid. They simply fight to be right.

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Why We Need to be Right

We get defensive when we’re challenged and that’s when a fight becomes a fight to be right. To back down, admit we might be wrong or to give in would be basically equal to admitting that our position held no value or worse, that we held no value ourselves. If we give in, we’re not being validated. When we fight to be right:

• We may not be entirely sure we’re correct, but as the argument progresses we become defiant and sometimes even convince ourselves that we are indeed right

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• We become so ensconced in our opinion that we refuse to even allow the notion that someone could convince us otherwise

We dig our heels in and fight to the very end even at the expense of ruining a close relationship

The Ability to Maintain a Fight

A right-fighter’s whole existence rests on their ability to maintain the fight—to prove they’re right and everyone else is wrong. While it may be hard to live with someone like this, it’s probably even harder to be the one always fighting to be right. It’s got to be exhausting.

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He Said, She Said

Imagine a couple who fights and bickers constantly—they fight to be right. Each one is convinced they’re right and they’re both willing to defend that position. What they’re doing is slowly chipping away at their bond. If you asked them individually, each would say they don’t like fighting, and everything would be fine if their other half would just give in. It’s a no-win situation because each of them is a right-fighter.

Give in, You Say?

Right-fighting happens in all walks of life—in wars, in politics, across religions and as many of us know,in our personal relationships. When one side becomes pitted against the other, so convinced they’re side is the right side and so bent on proving the other side wrong, a lot can go wrong:

• We can lose site of the original argument

• We abandon the real cause behind our actions

• We risk entering into a damaging and never-ending battle

Diffuse the Situation

To give in is not to give up—it doesn’t have to imply defeat or admitting that you’re wrong. Besides, our brains won’t let us do that when we’re in right-fighter mode. Instead, make the choice to respect the relationship and diffuse the situation by:

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• Admitting that the other side may have valid, note-worthy opinions

• Suggesting that maybe the subject warrants further consideration

• Remembering that the relationship is more important than winning a battle

When we fight to be right, no one wins.

4 thoughts on “The Fight to Be Right: When to Give In

  1. LJ

    Dear Maria: Every situation is unique and you seem to be handling yours in a way that works for you (at the moment). Still, wouldn’t it be much more peaceful not to fight at all? Print this article out and leave it lying around or pin it to your fridge if you have to. A relationship between a right-fighter and someone who can’t be bothered doesn’t say warm and fuzzy to me. Best of luck.

  2. LJ

    Dear T. Wilson: It always makes me happy when I can help, so I hope this article did indeed help. Seeing things for what they really are is half the battle, fixing it is much easier. Good luck to you and your boyfriend.

  3. Maria

    Very interesting, my boyfriend always declares what he says is right. Me, well sometimes I argue but I can’t be bothered so I simply say “I ain’t arguing anymore” and that’s the end of that!!! I don’t feel I’m giving in, I just can’t be bothered arguing with a know-it-all, lol

  4. T. Wilson

    OMG!!!!!!! It just so happened, just hours ago before I even read this article; my boyfriend and I had another disagreement. And right after the disagreement (that of course, I feel, has no merit,) I was sitting her asking myself, what the heck just happened. Reading this article, I so truly understand why we argue like we do. I admit it… I am a right-fighter! And so is he. This is an article that we both have to read together. I think this may (somehow) make him stop and think about his actions too. Thanks a bunch!


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